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Feds aid in crack down on gangs

U.S. Attorney George Holding said federal authorities are with with Raleigh police to use federal drug and weapons laws against gang members charged with crimes.

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Timothy Devine, leader of Bloods in Raleigh
RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal authorities are working with the Raleigh Police Department and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office to enforce federal firearms and drug laws against gang members and violent criminals, U.S. Attorney George Holding said Monday.

Holding said his office and federal law enforcement agencies have conducted several long-term investigations aimed at dismantling gang organizations. The U.S. Department of Justice also has awarded Wake and Durham counties a $2.5 million grant to battle gangs, including $1 million for law enforcement.

“We are working very diligently to focus all available federal resources on the problem of violent crime," Holding said in a statement. "While local law enforcement bears the burden of investigating and prosecuting the majority of (gang-related) crimes, particularly those involving juveniles, federal law enforcement is actively involved in this effort."

Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan last week described the local gang problem as "significant" and said it requires a community response. The comment came after a melee at a Raleigh mall and a shooting on the North Carolina State University campus that local authorities have said were gang-related.

Recent federal prosecutions of gang members and associates in Raleigh include the following:

  • Timothy Devine, a top leader of the Gangsta Killer Bloods in Raleigh, was sentenced in January to 22 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Brian Curtis Autry, a high ranking 9-Tre Bloods member, was sentenced on July 9 to 192 months in prison on federal drug and gun charges.
  • A high-ranking 9-Tre Bloods member was sentenced on July 24 to 106 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Two 9-Tre Blood associates – Anthony Terrell Russell and Ashley Bost – along with three other people have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing on federal charges arising from two home-invasion robberies in Raleigh last September.
  • Brandon Michael Jones, a validated member of the 9-Tre Bloods, has also been charged in the home invasions, as well as a Wake County homicide that occurred during a home-invasion robbery last August.
  • Another 9-Tre Blood member charged in the August 2007 has also been charged federally with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  • A member of the Gangsta Killer Bloods has been indicted federally on nine counts each of robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce and of using and carrying a firearm during a federal crime of violence.
  • Three associates of the Gangsta Killer Bloods in Raleigh have recently been charged with federal drug violations. One of the defendants has entered a guilty plea and is awaiting sentencing. The other two haven't yet entered pleas.

Another $1 million of the federal anti-gang grant will be used for gang-prevention efforts, and the remaining $500,000 will go to anti-recidivism efforts directed at gang offenders who have completed their prison sentences.

The Wake County portion of the grant focuses on southeast Raleigh, which has the highest concentration of gang-related crime.

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